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Expect great things from God -- Attempt great things for God.
- William Carey

Where have we been???

That's a loaded question. But I'm sure many of you have asked it. I'll get into the answer to that question down lower in this email. The Lord has been at work, for sure. Here are some highlights of the ministry since you heard from us last in August.

God is at work.

You met Oksana in our last newsletter. She was saved just before Voronkov camp. We told you that she was diagnosed with breast cancer right after she was saved. She has been through chemotherapy. She recently found out that she must have radiation as well. The cancer is worse than was originally thought. Frankly, we don't know the prognosis. She has endured much, however, she is CLINGING TO THE LORD JESUS. We are so encouraged to see that she invites Jesus into her suffering and pain instead of pushing Him away because He hasn't physically healed her. Every time I ask her how she is, she just says "Praise the Lord, I'm here [at church or Bible study]." Please continue to pray for her.
Julia (on the right in the red shirt) accepted Jesus as Savior at Voronkov camp this past Summer. She was hesitant to make the decision because she knew that it would be hard due to her family situation. She was also not sure that she would be able to stop sinning. This is a common concern people here have about accepting Jesus as Savior. Unfortunately, right after camp, we did not see her for several months. It was due to her family as I understood it. However, a couple of weeks ago, she was back! And you can see the joy on her face. We will continue to lead her in experiencing the presence of God in her life. We are thankful she is back!
We told you about Luda being saved at Voronkov Camp this past summer. But I wanted to let you know that she has changed. 180 degrees. The Lord has completely changed her. Completely. I don't want to share personal info in this public format, but we see Jesus all over her and her family. She has been as active as she can be in Bible study and church and fellowship. It's been incredible to see what God has done in the last few months since she was saved. And we know He is not finished, yet!
If this mom looks familiar, it's because Lena is the sister of Julia (above). She was so close to making decision at Voronkov Camp this past summer. In fact, the same evening that Julia was saved. But she was just not ready to make the commitment. She was certain that she could not just stop sinning. She has since understood that God's grace doesn't end when we decide to follow. There is grace sufficient for all sin. She has been at every Friday Night Bible Study in our home since we began again in September. She has been to church. She has asked questions and has listened attentively. We have seen her getting closer and closer. Finally, a few weeks ago, she just could not go home from Bible Study until she repented! We are excited to see God working in her life and her sister's. We believe that it's only the beginning!
Meet Ira (and her son, Vladik). They were at Voronkov Camp this past Summer. Ira has pretty significant problems in her personal life that I can't really talk about in this setting. But we do ask you to pray for her because God knows the details. Ira was so touched by the love that everyone showed her at Voronkov despite the problems she was/is having. She participated in everything at camp and certainly heard the Gospel many times. She continued to come to church after camp and a few weeks ago, she accepted salvation through Jesus. The Lord is surely going to work in the rest of her family. We are thrilled to get to watch.
This is Tanya. We first met Tanya at Voronkov Camp this past summer. She was so interested and plugged in to what we talked about camp. She was so open and happy to be there among us. A couple of weeks ago, she made the decision to follow Jesus for salvation. Mary had has the chance to talk to her and find out more about her. Tanya said that it wasn't the first time she had heard about Jesus. When she was 13 years old (that was 15-20 years ago), she was at a camp led by an American group. She heard about God's love and forgiveness through Jesus at that time. When she heard it again this past summer, she began to think and the Holy Spirit did what the Holy Spirit does. He drew her to the Lord and convinced her that she needed a Savior. What a great testimony to the work that so many have done in Ukraine since it became a free nation. Gus Downing, our ministry founder, began doing camps almost immediately after the soviet union broke apart. Tanya wasn't in one of our camps, but her story is an encouragement since we are still reaping the harvest of the work in those early days in Ukraine.

The last few months...

Many of you know that I (Chris) have struggled with depression over the last few years. Back at the beginning of August, the depression came back with a suffocating strength. I really am not at a point that I want to share exact details for all the reasons this happened, but this time was much worse than ever before. Additionally, I had begun taking an antidepressant about a year, previously. Please note that what I share here is unique to MY SITUATION. I am in no way giving advice for solving mental health issues except to say that you should seek help from a trustworthy source. And that you should definitely Run to the Father, first and foremost. Do not compare my experience with that of others. Do not think I am comparing my situation with others and passing judgment on myself or on others.

After Mary returned from the United States after getting Bethany settled at John Brown University. She suggested that I take a couple of days and get away by myself for some time with the Lord. It sounded like a good plan to me so I headed to Lviv for three days. On the first night there, I found myself trying to figure out how many of my antidepressants I needed to take to kill myself. (I now know that it wouldn't have killed me most likely, but the results would have been horrible.) Thankfully, the Spirit of the Lord woke me up and made me think about someone having to tell my beautiful bride what I had done. And I tossed the bottle of pills away from me. The Lord had thankfully intervened.

A day or two after I returned from Lviv, I was finally able to tell Mary what had happened. We knew that we had to do something to get me help of some kind. But, we knew that was not likely to happen in Ukraine.

I confided in a couple of close friends in the States. One of them generously offered to pay for a ticket for me to come to the States and provide me a place to stay. The other arranged for me to have a rental car for the entire time. I arrived in the States on November 4 without a real plan, but Mary and I felt it was right and we just followed Him.

The friend who bought the plane ticket lives in Austin, Texas. That just happens to be where the Center for Relational Care is located. (That's David Ferguson's organization.) And the friend who arranged the rental car just happens to have connections to that organization and it's Senior Therapist.

After being in the States just a couple of days, I had a plan in place and was scheduled for an "intake evaluation" appointment with the Senior Therapist. He accepted me as a client into an intensive therapy program which I have been in for the last four weeks. I have my final double session tomorrow (Wednesday) and I return home on Sunday, December 8.

God has done things in my life in these last weeks that I have never experienced. Ever. And I'm old. I have experienced His presence in my life like never before. Seriously.

So why didn't I tell anyone I was coming? Why haven't I seen anyone since I've been here?  Oh, there are probably lots of reasons. But the main reason is that I am here for solitude with the Lord to find healing and restoration. I am finding that. I have begun a process that will have to continue for the foreseeable future (either via video conference or periodic trips to Austin). But more than that, what the Lord has begun in me needs to be nurtured.

Even with all the help I have gotten from friends to get me here and provide housing and transportation, the cost has been much more than I could have imagined. During the summer, we had gotten way behind financially due to expenses for camps - which was certainly worth it. At the end of the summer, we sold our car to get caught up. And we did. Now we are asking you to help with the cost of the therapy program. If you want to now the total amount we are behind as a result of this, please contact me personally at I just don't want to throw that number out there. God knows the need and will meet it as He decides. But it's several thousand dollars.

Above all, we ask you to pray us through this season. Some things need to be adjusted at home for a while so I can continue to heal.


You can give a secure online gift: CLICK HERE.

You can also give through First Moore Baptist Church:
- Securely Online - CLICK HERE (choose Ukraine Ministries as designation)
- by check during any worship service (Memo: Ukraine Ministries)
- by check through US Postal mail (301 NE 27 Street, Moore, Oklahoma 73160) (Memo: Ukraine Ministries)

Thank you dear ones for your prayers and your financial support. It is important that we are in Ukraine right now. As you see, the Lord is moving in amazing ways. This therapy program will help us have longevity there. We love each of you and are so glad you are on this journey with us.

I am working on an article that gives some more details about all God has done in the last several weeks through the counseling program. It's hard to put it into words. But as soon as I am able to accomplish the task, I'll share it with you.

If you are considering suicide as a response to depression or something else going on in your life, PLEASE REACH OUT FOR HELP. Contact your pastor at your church, a counselor, or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 If you prefer online chat instead of speaking to someone, CLICK HERE. If someone you love mentions suicidal thoughts or desires, get help now.

The Lord really used this song as a salve to my soul in the first days of counseling.
Would you consider making a year-end gift to Ukraine Ministries? We will send you a tax receipt.
The work is just beginning.
Make a secure online gift now
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